Your guide to July’s new books: From abortion to making the most of retirement

Whether you're looking to delve into a controversial issue or bemoan your career choice, this month's new releases have you covered.

Whether you're looking to delve into a controversial issue or bemoan your career choice, this month's new releases have you covered. Photo: TND/Ultimo Press/Pan Macmillan Australia/Hachette Australia

In a climate where women’s bodies are becoming ever-more politicised, and mothers face pressure to conform to ideals set on social media, this month’s new book releases could not come at a better time.

July’s bookish newborns also encompass the memoir of man who made a career out of doing nothing and, on the other end of the spectrum, advice on how Australians near the end of their working lives can make the most of retirement.

Here are 10 books to check out in July.


Pip Adam

(Giramondo Publishing, $29.95)

A spaceship called Audition is hurtling through the cosmos. Squashed immobile into its largest room are three giants: Alba, Stanley and Drew.

If they talk, the spaceship keeps moving; if they are silent, they resume growing.

Talk they must, and as they do, Alba, Stanley and Drew recover their shared memory of what has been done to their former selves – experiences of imprisonment, violence and misrecognition, of disempowerment and underprivilege.

Release date: July 1

Reaching Through Time

Shauna Bostock

(Allen & Unwin, $34.99)

The phone rang unexpectedly, late one night.

“Guess who our white ancestors were?” chuckled Uncle Gerry. “They were slave traders! A couple of generations of slave traders!”

Following this startling revelation, Shauna Bostock discovered her ancestor, Robert Bostock, arrived in Sydney in 1815 after being convicted of slave trading in Africa, and his grandson, Augustus John, married a Bundjalung woman called One My.

Battling restrictions on access to government archives, Bostock gradually pieced together her family’s stories of dispossession and frontier violence; life on reserves under the harsh regime of the Aborigines Protection Board; a cricket match with Bradman; activism and arts in Redfern, and a surprising reconciliation.

Release date: July 4

Blind Spot

Robyn Dennison

(Text Publishing, $22.99)

When Dale stumbles into a bedroom at a party and sees a drunk girl being undressed by a group of guys, he backs away and runs. He’s pretty drunk himself, but he knows what he saw.

Why didn’t he stop them? Why did he run?

These questions haunt him. He wants to make things right but he doesn’t know how.

There’s no way he can talk to his dad. His mum walked out months ago, and his best friend, Kieran, wouldn’t understand.

Release date: July 4


Madison Griffiths

(Ultimo Press, $34.99)

What does it mean to terminate a pregnancy?

After undergoing an abortion, Madison Griffiths felt compelled to understand the emotional, cultural and social arenas the controversial procedure occupies – especially at a time when women’s bodies are increasingly politicised.

Throughout this collection of essays, Griffiths delves into different aspects of society to examine how gender, our bodies, the language we use, class, queerness and even the climate has affected the way we view abortion and those who experience it.

Release date: July 5

Born For You

Magdalena McGuire

(Ultimo Press, $32.99)

Inspired by her own experiences, award-winning author Magdalena McGuire delves into the lives of women at the crossroads of change in this collection of 12 interconnected stories.

McGuire says she wanted to examine the intersections of motherhood and art, and look at what affect mothers today, including social and economic pressures, the climate emergency, the pandemic and war.

Underpinned by this concept, McGuire has written stories about new mothers, women who yearn for children yet don’t have them and women who are childless but undertake caring work in other ways. Each story is used to consider contemporary society.

Release date: July 5

The Scope of Permissibility

Zeynab Gamieldien

(Ultimo Press, $34.99)

Bound together by their shared beliefs and alienation from wider Australian society, Sara, Abida and Naeem are drawn to their university’s Muslim Students’ Association.

Within its walls, Sara and Naeem begin a covert relationship, while Abida campaigns for the group’s presidency.

But Abida’s ambitions for leadership threatens both her longstanding friendship with Sara and the increasingly fragile relationship between Sara and Naeem.

Release date: July 5

Rental Person Who Does Nothing

Shoji Morimoto

(Pan Macmillan Australia, $29.99)

Shoji Morimoto began working as a rental person who does nothing in 2018, inspired after being told that he was a ‘do-nothing’.

He has since been hired by more than 4000 people.

His memoir, Morimoto or Rental Person who does nothing, chronicles his experience providing a fascinating service to the lonely and socially anxious.

He sits with a client undergoing surgery, accompanies a newly-divorced client to her favourite restaurant and visits the site of a client’s suicide attempt among just a few of his true life adventures.

Release date: July 11

You Called an Ambulance for What?

Tim Booth

(Pan Macmillan Australia, $36.99)

Tim Booth is shocked when his first emergency callout for someone short of breath turns out to be an adult man with a blocked nose. Far from beginner’s luck, this turns out to be an omen for the rest of his paramedic career.

Between the obligatory stories of objects lodged in body cavities to grown men who can’t look after themselves when their wives are away, Booth finds that the promised life-saving moments are far outweighed by the trivial, frustrating and bizarre ambulance callouts.

In a comedic, behind-the-sirens look at the reality of life as an Australian intensive care paramedic, Booth and his colleagues battle fatigue, abuse and burnout – treated with coffee, occasional moments of heroism, and a healthy dose of dark humour.

Release date: July 25

How to Have an Epic Retirement

Bec Wilson

(Hachette Australia, $34.99)

More than 500,000 Australians plan to retire in the next five years, and want to prepare and set themselves up for the exciting 30+ year journey that could be ahead of them.

This is where How to Have an Epic Retirement comes in.

Armed with information and the best anecdotal knowledge from retirees and those planning to retire, Rebecca Wilson, founder of the online platform Starts at 60, has compiled the ultimate guidebook for those who want to make the most of their retirement.

Release date: July 26

A Scar is Also Skin: A memoir of stroke, heart attack and remaking

Ben Mckelvey

(Hachette Australia, $34.99)

For the first 27 years of his life, journalist Ben McKelvey didn’t spend too much time thinking about his brain or trauma.

Then one day while boxing he suffered a stroke. In the time it took for a left hook to be thrown, McKelvey disconnected from language, and therefore the world.

He wanted nothing more than to go back to normal life and, after a time, it looked like he had. Only normal life no longer felt normal; McKelvey’s brain had changed, and so had he.

While still weak and questioning everything about his life, an invitation arrived from the Australian Defence Force to embed with Australian forces in Iraq, and with it, a new career and calling.

Release date: July 26

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